Only senior cats for senior citizens: good idea or not?

Krienze

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I don't know how I feel about that. It almost feels ageist and a bit cruel to deny someone a young pet. My elderly mother read it over my shoulder and her first reaction was to view it as "give us animal that will die soon because they think we'll die soon?" - which may be a bit of a morbid way of looking at it but I have to imagine a lot of elderly people may feel this way. It's also heart breaking when I think about it. Elderly people already deal with the loss of friends as they get older to death, the idea that they are only allowed older animals that most likely pass seems like it could be demoralizing for them.
I know many 60-70 year olds who are vibrant and full of life. I feel like if this is going to be a thing, it should 100% be a case by case situation.
I don't know though. I have very mixed emotions because I sort of understand the reasoning behind it, too
 

CatladyJan

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It's a complex issue and until recently believed in basically older animals for older people for the most part.

I'm 58 and my DH is 61 we have no idea how long we have to live as we could be in an accident tomorrow. I had trapped 7 kittens last year and 2 were still a bit shy, so after long soul searching I chose to keep them even though they could easily out live me.

I do think it's more important to adopt out on a case by case situation. We've already asked my DH daughter (who loves cats) to please rehome them and do what is best should we pass.

It certainly can be expensive and difficult when an older cat develops illness if the person adopting has a back up plan that is something to consider as well.

Unfortunately there is no certainty in life and we just have to make the best of each situation.
 

Flybynight

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I agree, with everyone who mentions looking at things on a individual basis. But a five, six, seven etc years old cat is not really elderly nor guaranteed to die soon or have health issues.
I think a lot of health issues are brought on by diet.
With good care, cats are not destined for diabetes etc. Younger cats can develop illness or need medical care as well.

Having a pet means having the means to care for it, not just while all good.
To be fair to the cat, is it right to give a kitten to a 72 year old without a back up plan?

People may not want to consider their mortality and at 30 or 40 can maybe put their head in the sand but to be fair to the pet, they should consider what if.
That is being fair to the animal not just the human.

It was mentioned some places in the US have high rates of euthanasia and they may have very lax or too lax adoption policies.

I recall around Christmas time a few years ago, I visited a county shelter in the Southeastern US with some family members. My step mother was mulling over adopting a new dog.
My sister and I looked in on the cats. There was currently a ten dollar adoption special...
I wondered how many came to be rejected Christmas 'toys' for kids once they had grown more or 'adopted' to be used as bait for dog fighting.
 

fionasmom

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Some shelters out here in CA do the "incentive" for adoption like free cats or a first come, first served basis regardless of who the first person is. That is a whole other discussion that goes along with all the people who are returning pets, adopted during the pandemic, to shelters now that they are back at work. Not exactly the 70 year olds who are going back to work.
 

jefferd18

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I don't understand why age even factors in when it comes to giving a cat a wonderful home. Anything can happen to the youngest and healthiest of us- nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. I can understand the concerns of the shelters, but putting in unreasonably strict rules will only serve to alienate people from adopting.
Less people+ more animals= more euthanizing.
 

cataholic07

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Personally, I do not think a senior over 70 should adopt a kitten. Even if you have it in your will that you kitty must go to a relative it doesn't mean it will happen. Some might not have the funds or have their own pets that won't get along with your cat(s). Kitten energy can be too overwhelming for some. What if you need to go to a retirement home? Very few will allow pets. In fact, it's a major issue in my city as there are only a small handful that will accept cats. In rescue, we see a ton of cats being surrendered for those reasons (death or moving to a retirement home) and they are heart broken. Now I don't think it must be a senior cat, especially if only in the 60s but a 4 years+ cat is fine to. If you adopt a kitten there's no guarantee of a lengthy lifespan or less health risks. I have paid $1,000 when my boy who was 10 months old injured his jaw playing, and had to do a dental cleaning on each of my boys one at a year old, the other at 2 years old. Even with brushing their teeth daily because they both had juvenile gingivitis. I think they do the senior for a senior to help find more homes for senior cats who struggle to find homes. Kittens and young cats are easy to find homes for. So really adopting an older kitty gives them the best shot of a great life, especially in high kill shelters where they would have a high chance of being euthanized due to their age.
 

jefferd18

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Personally, I do not think a senior over 70 should adopt a kitten. Even if you have it in your will that you kitty must go to a relative it doesn't mean it will happen. Some might not have the funds or have their own pets that won't get along with your cat(s). Kitten energy can be too overwhelming for some. What if you need to go to a retirement home? Very few will allow pets. In fact, it's a major issue in my city as there are only a small handful that will accept cats. In rescue, we see a ton of cats being surrendered for those reasons (death or moving to a retirement home) and they are heart broken. Now I don't think it must be a senior cat, especially if only in the 60s but a 4 years+ cat is fine to. If you adopt a kitten there's no guarantee of a lengthy lifespan or less health risks. I have paid $1,000 when my boy who was 10 months old injured his jaw playing, and had to do a dental cleaning on each of my boys one at a year old, the other at 2 years old. Even with brushing their teeth daily because they both had juvenile gingivitis. I think they do the senior for a senior to help find more homes for senior cats who struggle to find homes. Kittens and young cats are easy to find homes for. So really adopting an older kitty gives them the best shot of a great life, especially in high kill shelters where they would have a high chance of being euthanized due to their age.
You make a valid point about nursing homes or even what a limited income apartment for seniors will allow.

But if we went strictly by age I could see issues on the other end as well. Your twenties and thirties are filled with the uncertainties of relationships, roommates, moves, job changes, marriage and children. Many times young people don't have the time to devote to a pet- any pet.
 

tarasgirl06

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Valid points in both your posts, cataholic07 cataholic07 and jefferd18 jefferd18 -- bottom line, if shelters, ACCs, rescues and sanctuaries could access personality and lifestyle profiles of prospective adopters like I assume prospective adopters of kids do, it would be great. But since that isn't in the scheme of things at this point, I think these entities should screen as carefully as possible, but not to the point where good potential adopters are refused simply because of age.
 

jefferd18

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Valid points in both your posts, cataholic07 cataholic07 and jefferd18 jefferd18 -- bottom line, if shelters, ACCs, rescues and sanctuaries could access personality and lifestyle profiles of prospective adopters like I assume prospective adopters of kids do, it would be great. But since that isn't in the scheme of things at this point, I think these entities should screen as carefully as possible, but not to the point where good potential adopters are refused simply because of age.

You would be surprised of the reasons why shelters turn away adopters.
My aunt is disable due to her type 1 diabetes getting the best of her. The disease has taken part of her foot, so she can't get around very well. But she and my uncle have always been very responsible pet owners. They live on five acres and now that they are both semi-retired they have enough time for a puppy. But whenever my sister would visit shelters and rescue groups, with excellent references in tow, she was turned down because they didn't think she could keep up with a puppy. One full grown young dog that she had her eye on was denied her and given to a 15 year old boy instead. Great, somebody who would forget him once girls, cars, part-time jobs and college came into the picture.
Two years of looking she finally bought a boarder collie puppy from a breeder. That dog has the life of a king.
 

tarasgirl06

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You would be surprised of the reasons why shelters turn away adopters.
My aunt is disable due to her type 1 diabetes getting the best of her. The disease has taken part of her foot, so she can't get around very well. But she and my uncle have always been very responsible pet owners. They live on five acres and now that they are both semi-retired they have enough time for a puppy. But whenever my sister would visit shelters and rescue groups, with excellent references in tow, she was turned down because they didn't think she could keep up with a puppy. One full grown young dog that she had her eye on was denied her and given to a 15 year old boy instead. Great, somebody who would forget him once girls, cars, part-time jobs and college came into the picture.
Two years of looking she finally bought a boarder collie puppy from a breeder. That dog has the life of a king.
People being individuals works so many ways, doesn't it? The reasons for accepting or rejecting an adopter, or an adoptee, are so numerous.
 

Krienze

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Personally, I do not think a senior over 70 should adopt a kitten. Even if you have it in your will that you kitty must go to a relative it doesn't mean it will happen. Some might not have the funds or have their own pets that won't get along with your cat(s). Kitten energy can be too overwhelming for some. What if you need to go to a retirement home? Very few will allow pets. In fact, it's a major issue in my city as there are only a small handful that will accept cats. In rescue, we see a ton of cats being surrendered for those reasons (death or moving to a retirement home) and they are heart broken. Now I don't think it must be a senior cat, especially if only in the 60s but a 4 years+ cat is fine to. If you adopt a kitten there's no guarantee of a lengthy lifespan or less health risks. I have paid $1,000 when my boy who was 10 months old injured his jaw playing, and had to do a dental cleaning on each of my boys one at a year old, the other at 2 years old. Even with brushing their teeth daily because they both had juvenile gingivitis. I think they do the senior for a senior to help find more homes for senior cats who struggle to find homes. Kittens and young cats are easy to find homes for. So really adopting an older kitty gives them the best shot of a great life, especially in high kill shelters where they would have a high chance of being euthanized due to their age.
I guess I feel like... where does the line get drawn?
Do terminally ill / or sick individuals get to have animals? etc etc. It just seems like it should be a case by case situation
 

jefferd18

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I guess I feel like... where does the line get drawn?
Do terminally ill / or sick individuals get to have animals? etc etc. It just seems like it should be a case by case situation

Exactly. The people that I have found who really cherish their pets and take the best care of them are the homeless. So where does the line get drawn.
 

tarasgirl06

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Exactly. The people that I have found who really cherish their pets and take the best care of them are the homeless. So where does the line get drawn.
I've found this too. They are truly valued by those who are on such a thin line. And some of the rich are some of the most heartless, as well.
 

solomonar

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In my view, it is a purely contractual matter and not a moral question.
What happens with the cat when the adopting owner passes away?
The answer to this question shall be in a contract term, in my opinion. Not in an interdiction based on probability of death, because the probability is related to high-number cases (it is statistics), while death is an individual case.

It does not matter how old the adopting person is. Even a 20-year-old healthy and wealthy man shall agree on how the cat shall be treated in case he will die tomorrow. The last backup line could be care-and-return term: in the case of harsh time or death, the cat can be returned to the shelter.
 

solomonar

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People may not want to consider their mortality and at 30 or 40 can maybe put their head in the sand but to be fair to the pet, they should consider what if.
People at 30 and 40 can die as well.
The problem is who will die, not what is the probability.

Lets say you have in front of you one man 80 years old and one young woman 20 years old - can you bet who out of the two will die in 5 years?

The probability goes for large numbers, not for individuals.
 

Flybynight

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I know people can die at thirty and forty. I said in a previous post in this thread that clearly.
The point is probability and at thirty and forty you can still get away with not considering it unless you already have an illness.
At seventy you cannot really ignore the possibility.
Average life expectancy, for example, in the US is 77. A bit higher for females and a bit lower for males.
If you are a shelter worker, do you give a kitten to an 80 year old man with no back up plan in case he passes away? Be logical as people must use logic in these cases.
 

tarasgirl06

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Each case needs to be based on individual qualifications and needs; and yes, it is CRUCIAL for shelters to accept cats back if the person becomes unable to care for them. Many shelters have programs like this. Unfortunately, many family members who say they will take over care if necessary, DON'T. We wish people were as good as their word, but reality teaches us different. That said, some people DO have wonderful relatives/friends/colleagues who WILL assume care if needed.
 
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